Glycolic acid is one of the alpha-hydroxy acids derived from fruit and milk as well as plants high in sugar such as sugar cane and sugar beets. Glycolic acid is used in skin creams and facial peels. The acid dissolves the bonds that hold layers of skin cells together, so that the outer layer of dead skin cells can be stripped away revealing younger, smoother skin.
Combine the muscovado sugar and essential oil with enough yogurt to make a creamy paste. The sugar won't dissolve completely. Muscovado sugar is minimally processed, contains glycolic acid and moisturizes as well as exfoliates.
Apply the sugar paste to your face, avoiding the area close to your eyes. Wait for three to four minutes, and then splash on a little water and massage the sugar paste over your complexion in light circles with your fingertips.
Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Use the chamomile tea as a final rinse to completely remove the sugar and yogurt paste and to soothe your skin.
Massage the almond or olive oil into your skin while it is still damp. The emollient oil will help smooth your skin and seal in moisture.
Yogurt is a source of lactic acid. Substitute apple sauce, which contains malic acid, or lemon or orange juice, which contains citric acid. Citrus acid is somewhat harsh; leave the mixture on your face for a shorter time to avoid irritating your skin. For sensitive skin, use plain white sugar instead of muscovado sugar. Plain white sugar has smaller crystals than muscovado sugar.
Do a patch test of your sugar and yogurt, apple sauce or lemon juice paste. Apply a little to your inner arm and cover with a bandage. After 24 hours, check for skin irritation.
Although your sugar and yogurt paste has a smaller percentage of glycolic acid than the commercial products used by dermatologists, you still need to protect your skin from exposure to sun, wind, and extremes of cold and heat. Apply sunscreen daily and use a moisturizer regularly.
- "J Cosmet Sci;" Comparative in vivo study of the efficacy and tolerance of exfoliating agents using reflectance spectrophotometric methods; Rizza L et al; May-June 2010
- "Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol;" Standard guidelines of care for chemical peels; Khunger N; Jan. 2008
- "Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol;" The therapeutic value of glycolic acid peels in dermatology; Grover C, Reddu BS; Mar-Apr 2003
Ramona French owned a massage school and taught massage for 28 years. In that time she wrote textbooks on Swedish, acupressure, deep tissue and lymph drainage massage. She is the author of "Introduction to Lymph Drainage Massage" and "Milady's Guide to Lymph Drainage Massage." Her book, "The Complete Guide to Lymph Drainage Massage," published by Milady, was released in October 2011.